Nike SB dojo | スケートパーク

To make things happen, you really need to be committed.
Taking a little time to film out of his busy days... this is the part that represents his new chapter in life.
──YOSHIAKI NAGADO (ENGLISH)

2019.09.09

Video_Jima / Photo_Takashi / Special thanks_MxMxM Skateboards

[JAPANESE / ENGLISH]

VHSMAG (V): I'd like to start from when you started skating. You mentioned in our ID Q&A that one of your older friends made you start skating.

Yoshiaki Nagado (Y): Yes, we were just hanging out at first but he started skating. He made me do it with him. That's how I started skating. I was about ten. Now I'm 28 so I've been skating for 18 years.

V: How was the scene in Okinawa like back then? Okinawa is kind of known for skaters that skate handrails.

Y: It was kind of a ritual to go to this skateshop called Apollo and buy a local DVD "ing..." Awesome people like Tetsuharu Sai and Sansei (Yuichi Igei) were skating handrails and stairs. I was influenced by them and they made me want to skate big stuff.

V: Who was your biggest influence?

Y: He's in Tokyo now but Genki Sunagawa. I've known him since I was in the first year of high school and he's all about doing something different. I liked watching him skate. He has this distinct style so he was definitely influential.

V: I heard that you guys are related. Is that true?

Y: Yes, our cousins got married. So we're very distant relatives.

V: So you guys aren't related by blood.

Y: No (laughs).

V: I see. Who was your first sponsor?

Y: My first sponsor was Vans. I was 19. This has to do with Genki as well but he was riding for Emerica at the time. I told him that I really wanted to get on Vans and he introduced me people there. That was nice of him.

V: Were you living in Tokyo by then?

Y: No, it was before that. I was still in Okinawa. I sent then sponsor me video and coverages in magazines.

V: When would you say your tipping point was?

Y: When I was in the 5th grade, I made a DVD called "Eighty-Seven" with Shigeta Iha, who works at FESN now. Genki joined the shoot from there. So that DVD was a huge thing for me.

V: Then when did you come out to Tokyo?

Y: I think about six years ago? I lived there for two years. I quit my job and decided to skate in Tokyo. I've always wanted to do that.

V: When I think about you in Tokyo, Sketchy Life comes to mind.

Y: Sketchy Life is super loose crew (laughs). Skate skill doesn't matter at all. We just hang out together. Genki selects the members and we make videos.

V: I assume your time in Tokyo with your buddies was super dense. You were living with Genki Sunagawa and TK, right? Kinako too?

Y: No, Kinako wasn't living with us. We'd skate together at Miyashita Park and ride the train back home, but I'd keep him busy in conversation and have him go passed his local station so that he can come over to our place. Our apartment was called Flower House. We'd drink... Kinako passes out faster than anyone so we'd always draw shit on his face (laughs).

V: Flower House is that apartment in the end of your Sketchy Life part, right? A lot of crazy stuff went down at that place, huh?

Y: I was only doing temp jobs so everyday was like Sunday. We skate when it's sunny out. We drink and play Call of Duty when it's raining. It was all about stupid stuff... Kinako passed out one day again and we painted his face fully black. He went to the convenience store the next morning with it. I think he knew that his face was completely black but... well, maybe not, because he's pretty dumb (laugh).

V: I heard TK's grandma was living downstairs and thought you guys were her grandson...

Y: Yeah, she was like, "Taka?" But I'm like, "No I'm Yoshiaki, I live with your grandson Taka." She'd do the same to Genki too. I don't know how she could mistaken her grandson for Genki because he's got all these crazy tattoos all over his face...


 

V: I like that story. So anything crazy happen with Sketchy Life crew?

Y: I've been with them for all these years but nothing really, besides people passing out... We drink until we pass out... I don't think no one has made this but I've drawn on Genki's face. The thing is, Genki never sleeps before anyone. He's always the last one to pass out. We came back from camping and Genki passed out before us. Also I heard that Kinako is over Tenga now (laughs).

V: Really (Laughs)? After two years in Tokyo you moved back to Okinawa. Why?

Y: I broke my ankle during a contest. It was a complex fracture. I got a surgery so I thought it'd be best to rest for a while in Okinawa.


 

V: That must have been harsh... But you overcame your injury and came up with that Pick Up part. Anything memorable from the days in Tokyo?

Y: We, this is not from when I was living there but you guys did premiere for this MxMxM part in Tokyo. I was really stoked on that. Thank you. You don't get to have that kind of opportunity so often, you know.

V: Okay then let's talk about this part you just finished. we need to start from the beginning. Was that your wedding in the intro?

Y: Yes, that was my wedding.

V: Everyone in Okinawa does that traditional dance at weddings?

Y: It's becoming popular again. It's called Kagiyade-Fu. Go Miyagi had a skateboard on his head instead of a traditional hat. I really wanted to do that at my wedding (laughs). I respect Go a lot.

V: How did the audiences react?

Y: Well, they weren't so happy...

V: No way (laughs).

Y: I mean, not many laughed. You know, there are bride's relatives there... it wasn't the reaction I expected. Some of them told me "Why couldn't you just dance normally? Why that on your head?"

V: But it was nice.

Y: I didn't want it to be a same old normal thing. I'm a skateboarder, you know. Go was doing that so I just did it as an homage.

V: How long did you film for this part?

Y: About two years.Filmed in Okinawa, Tokyo and other places.

V: Memorable trick?

Y: The last trick for sure. 50-50 grind on that kinked ledge/handrail. I wasn't sure if I could really land that one... It was during MxMxM Okinawa tour and I just wanted to do something sick. Full of adrenalin and good vibes. I couldn't have done it if they weren't there.

V: Yeah, I can tell by the reaction after you landed that.

Y: Yes, I don't know why but I was super hyped and I just wanted to skate away from there (laughs).

V: This part is full of energy. By the way, you were charging all these huge banks. Do you have a lot of those kind of spots in Okinawa?

Y: We only have banks. But at the bottom there's always a little ditch so you can't really do bank-ins. The bank I did disaster on was the spot that Wataru Ganeko found. When I met up with him, he was like "Let's do it!" Then he pulled me with his bike and my board flew out in the air... That bank was gnarly.

V: That noseblunt yank-in was gnarly too.

Y: The ground was rough and that was the biggest yank-in I ever did. I just had to go for it and I made it within ten tries. Last night it rained so the ground was wet, so I had my friend get a scrub brush and dry the spots I'd ride on.

V: How about that gap ollie on a bank?

Y: That was during MxMxM's Taiwan tour in Takao. Locals took us there but I was like "What, this place?" They said some BMX guy cleared that gap but... Jima was the filmer and he told me that I could do it for sure. I took his advice and I was able to do it.

V: So that must be a legendary trick in Taiwan now. Speaking of Jima, I heard he fucked up filming one of your tricks because the memory card was full (laughs).

Y: Yeah, yeah. I think it was the battery, not memory card. That was... well, it's no one's fault. It was a front flip over a pole in Shinjuku. I landed one but my hand touched the ground. Jima was like "You gotta do it again." It was a super cold winter night. So I tried again and as I landed it he was like "Shit, I fucked up!" We thought maybe it was filmed by chance but it was cut from the very beginning. We had to go back two days later and try it again. So I landed that twice. The first day I tried like hundred times but two days later I landed it super quick. I was stoked.

V: Now that the part is done, is there anything in the works?

Y: I want to film Sketchy Life part and also MxMxM part.

V: Gotcha. Last words?

Y: My daughter Kana Nagado was born on August 21! I'm gonna do my best raising her and skate as well so heads up!

 

Yoshiaki Nagado
@chomodou

Date of birth :
February 22, 1991

Blood type :
A

Birthplace :
Okinawa

Sponsors :
MxMxM, Vans Japan, Ace Trucks, KANIHANDIBAL_Hardware, 縁_ENISHIgrip, Stickywich

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